Sunday, November 27, 2011

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, 21 – 27 NOV

In this edition of “This Week:”
- Welcome Home Brother Bosson!
- More SigEp Patriots Getting Married
- AZ Beta Recognizes Three U.S. Navy Chapter Brothers
- NE Beta Weighs In
- Update: SigEp Patriots Project

22 NOV 1918
On this date, World War I Veteran and VA Epsilon Brother Second Lieutenant Cralle Fauntleroy Blackwell, U.S. Army was commissioned a second lieutenant of coast artillery and given his honorable discharge at the same time.

21 NOV 1921
World War II Veteran and NE Alpha Brother First Lieutenant Charley Lewis Dickey, III, U.S. Army was born in Columbus, Nebraska on this date.

25 NOV 1936
U.S. Army Korean War Veteran NC Delta Brother Nathaniel Sullivan Crews was born on this date in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

27 NOV 1950
On this date, U.S. Army WWI Veteran, Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, U.S. Senator (North Carolina) and NC Gamma Brother Willis Smith began his term as U.S. Senator representing North Carolina.

22 NOV 1987
World War II Veteran, Mayor (Jacksonville), Governor (Florida) and MA Theta Brother Lieutenant William Haydon Burns, U.S. Navy died on this date. Born 17 MAR 1912 in Chicago, Illinois, Haydon (as he was often called) an accomplished pilot, initially served in World War II as an aeronautical salvage specialist with the rank of lieutenant in the Office of the Secretary of the United States Navy.

Following his military service, Brother Burns made his home in Florida, and during his first bid for public office (in 1949), was elected to his first of 15 consecutive terms as Mayor of Jacksonville, FL. Haydon served as such until 1965 when he took his post as the 35th Governor of Florida during a “short term” (1965-67).

Changing the course of Florida in two years.

Governor Burns utilized his short tenure to allocate massive funding increases for the state park and educational systems of Florida. In addition, he established strong trade ties with South America, implemented significant revisions of the Florida Constitution, and advocated for tax reform. But perhaps his single most far-reaching accomplishment was to convince the executives of the Walt Disney Corporation to expand their second theme-park in central Florida.

Testaments to Brother Burn’s diligence and commitment to the people of Florida still exist today.

In 1966, the building located at 605 Suwannee Street in Tallahassee, Florida opened and was named the W. Haydon Burns Building. It became home to the State Road Department, now the Florida Department of Transportation.

In 2004, the City of Jacksonville renamed the old City Hall the Haydon Burns City Hall Annex.

In addition to be a being a Brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Haydon was also a Freemason, Shriner and member of the Kiwanis and Knights of Pythias.

Respect can be paid to Brother Burns at Oaklawn Cemetery, Jacksonville, FL.

23 NOV 1987
On this date, Vietnam and Persian Gulf War Veteran Renaissance Brother General Colin Luther Powell, U.S. Army (Retired) began his tenure as the 16th National Security Advisor in the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

23 NOV 2009
U.S. Army World War II Veteran and OH Epsilon Brother Dr. Nicholas Billeris died on this date. He was born on 12 MAR 1923 in Youngstown, Ohio, and as a young boy, during the depression years, he and his family moved to Tarpon Springs, FL. He graduated valedictorian and president of his class from Tarpon Springs High School in 1941, and pursued his education by hitchhiking to Tennessee, then traveling on to California to attend UCLA at night where he was employed with the Douglas Aircraft Factory during the day.

In 1943, Brother Billeris was drafted from Los Angeles and served as a sergeant with the Army Air Corps Weather Squadron 2nd Division, gathering and decoding data to transfer to meteorology stations. He also served as a Greek interpreter for Army Intelligence and received four Bronze Stars for his service in the European Theater.

After World War II, Nicholas graduated from Ohio Wesleyan, and was then accepted to Northwestern University in Chicago where he earned his D.D.S. degree in dentistry, graduating with top honors. He also taught meteorology in Chicago to cadets enrolled in the ROTC program.

After moving back to Florida, Brother Billeris had a successful practice for 40 years, and volunteered his time at schools and county dental programs to treat patients who had no resources to receive dental care.

It continues to look like that time of year. TN Beta Brother Captain Brian Park, U.S. Air Force is now engaged to Ms. Abby Forrester, and U.S. Army Veteran OH Rho Brother Wes Ehninger is engaged to Ms. Janelle Hayes. Congratulations and best of luck to Don & Abby, and Wes & Janelle!
* Welcome Home to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and LA Alpha Brother Captain Brock Bosson, U.S. Army! For his hard work, Brock was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Congratulations and thank you for your service, Brother.
* On Monday, FL Iota Brother Chase Busch on his promotion to First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Congratulations Chase!
* At their inaugural event on 04 NOV 2011, AZ Beta presented U.S. Navy Veteran AZ Beta Brother Richard G. Guthrie with a service award named in this honor, and inducted the following AZ Beta Patriots in to their Hall of Fame:
- Rear Admiral Mark Gemmill, U.S. Navy (Retired) and Ensign John A. Robertson, U.S. Navy
* U.S. Navy Veteran, SigEp Patriots Project IN Beta Point of Contact and Brother Sean Benge is heading back to Fort Meade, this time as a civilian. He was stationed there while attached to Navy Information Operation Command Maryland between May '07 and December '09 as a cryptology technician (CT). We wish him luck in his future endeavors as he continues to support war fighters home and abroad.

- 360. 410. 11. 430.
* There are now more than 360 pages of information in the SPP archives.
* With the help of fellow SigEp Patriots referring Brothers, SigEps Who Serve (SWS), the official SPP Facebook group now numbers 410. We welcome Brothers Wes Ehninger, Dan Clark, Robert Graves, Steve Haley and Jeff Burriss.

If you are a SigEp Patriot and on Facebook, just click on the link to go to the SWS page All we need to know is your home chapter and military affiliation. In addition to Facebook, SPP also has a listserve that you can join by writing to

* SPP Chapter Representatives / Points of Contact (POCs). There are now 11 Chapter POCs, and SPP would like to welcome the following Brothers and thank them for their interest in honoring brothers who serve/served:

- TX Delta POC – U.S. Navy Veteran and TX Delta Brother Petty Officer Third Class Chris Mejia. Chris served aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and was just elected chapter president.

- OH Theta POC – OH Theta Brother Ben Garner, U.S. Air Force ROTC at University of Cincinnati.

POCs can be undergraduate or alumni brothers. Contact SPP at to establish a POC.

* This was a great research week for the Project. The names of more than 430 SigEp Patriots were added to the roll. A huge thank you goes out to NE Beta Alumni & NE Beta AVC VP of Communication and Finance Cory Butler for exemplifying our cardinal principles through his efforts to honor Brothers and add information about 30 NE Beta Patriots.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta ‘96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project
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